Formerly ruling and now opposition United National Movement (UNM) party said it will not elect new chairperson to replace Mikheil Saakashvili, who has lost Georgian citizenship and, consequently, also the right to be a chairman of a political party in Georgia.
The announcement was made after a meeting of UNM’s main governing body, political council, on December 5.
Saakashvili, who has been UNM’s leader since the party was founded in 2001, was re-elected as party’s chairman in October, 2013.
UNM MP Nugzar Tsiklauri said after the political council meeting that although formally Saakashvili is no longer party’s chairman, he will remain its leader.
“Mikheil Saakashvili is the founder of this party; Mikheil Saakashvili is also unchallenged leader of this party so there is nothing – be it legal or violent means – that can sever link between the United National Movement and Mikheil Saakashvili,” MP Tsiklauri said.
“The party is run based on team governance model for three years already; there is a political council, chairman of the political council and secretary general – these very bodies take decisions in the party, therefore there is neither need nor expediency whatsoever to elect a new chairperson,” MP Davit Bakradze, leader of the UNM minority group in the parliament, said on December 5. “We will accomplish the main task and defeat this government in 2016 elections.”